Kelsie Dolin won over the hearts of millions on Sunday, March 6, when the 18-year-old’s American Idol audition aired on ABC.
The West Virginia native auditioned with covers of Kelly Clarkson’s “Piece By Piece” and Adele’s “When We Were Young,” which brought Idol judges Lionel Richie and Katy Perry to tears. Her performance also earned praise from Luke Bryan.
“We are so emotional and we are so overcome because you’ve been sitting down in West Virginia and you have this pure beautiful voice,” Bryan gushed. “It’s never been challenged, it’s never been pushed. It’s just never been lifted up and loved on.”
“This is the only person I know that has walked in here and messed me up completely,” Richie said as Perry added, “You are very special. You’re worth it and I hope that you can trust us.”
Dolin earned a unanimous “yes” from all three Idol judges and advanced to Hollywood with a Golden Ticket.
Get to know more about the fan-favorite American Idol contestant below.
Kelsie Dolin grew up in Boone County, West Virginia but now resides in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Raised By Her Grandparents
“My grandparents are like my parents,” Dolin explained. “I was almost 2, and my sister was born. And she was born addicted to opiates and all kinds of junk. So my grandparents took us before the state could.”
Her grandmother was also said to be her biggest supporter before she passed away in September 2021.
“Last September, my grandma passed away,” the contestant share in a clip with Idol producers. “She had a lot of heart problems and got COVID and couldn’t fight it off. Losing my grandma was very hard. I miss her very much. She was the kind of person to push me to do things. [She] tried to get me to sing in church a couple of times but I never did.”
Dolin Thinks Her Late Grandma Sent Signs That Led Her To Audition For Idol
“I was going online and [an advertisement for Idol] just kept popping up and my grandma passed last September. So, I just thought it was her kind of telling me to I don’t know, sign up for it,” Dolin explained to the Idol judges at the time of her audition.
She Took Her First Flight For Her Idol Audition
Before her audition, Dolin’s grandfather revealed that she was afraid to fly and had to overcome her fear of flying for her audition.
Kelsie Says Her Idol Audition Was “Life-Changing”
“Hey y’all!! So I just did A crazy, life changing thing…” she wrote on Instagram ahead of her appearance on Idol. ”I auditioned for season 20 of American Idol!”
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The West Virginia Native Has Aspirations To Perform At The Opry
“In 20 years, I want to perform at the Grand Ole Opry,” Dolin told Idol producers in a recent clip.
She Considers Her Sister To Be Her Best Friend
Following her audition, Dolin took to social media to thank everyone for their support and admitted, “I couldn’t have done any of it without my best friend, my #1, my sister…”
Uses TikTok To Showcase Her Vocals
Dolin often shares covers of different songs on her TikTok to allow fans to see her vocal range. She’s covered artists such as Reba McEntire, Lauren Daigle, Bruno Mars and more. Fans can follow her on TikTok HERE.
She Loves Traveling & Animals
As she indicated to Luke Bryan during her Idol audition she likes to fish. Her social media also shows that she enjoys traveling and loves to spend quality time with her dog.
The Idol Judges’ Comments Shocked Her
“The feedback was kind of unbelievable,” Dolin admitted, before adding, “they didn’t say nothing bad, it was just I don’t know, there was a lot of compliments and I don’t get those very often. I hope Hollywood week goes good. I got the hard part over with. I already sang in front of them once.”